Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

OSTI Functions in Brief

by Walt Warnick on Mon, February 09, 2009

OSTI is dedicated to the principle that to advance science, research must be shared. OSTI  is increasingly recognized for its contributions to the sharing and exchange of scientific and technical information.  OSTI works to accelerate discovery by speeding access to knowledge.

OSTI's users conducted 80 million information transactions last year.  Spreading responsibility for these transactions across the OSTI staff implies that each OSTI employee was responsible for 12 information transactions per minute throughout the work year, which I view as an incredible metric of success.   And we have only just begun.  OSTI's traffic increases significantly each year. 

But, of course, OSTI staff rarely interacts with users personally.  Rather, staff creates, develops, and deploys information tools for users.   OSTI's suite of cutting edge web tools make science information searchable from everywhere.   Through the deployment of information technology, OSTI accomplishes  far more than could be accomplished via personal interactions.

Recently, we were asked to prepare a one-page synopsis of OSTI's Many Functions.  Because one page was not enough space to describe all of OSTI's functions, we had to limit attention to certain selected highlights.  Still, the one-page synopsis is impressive, and folks at OSTI should feel a real sense of accomplishment.  Here is the one-pager.


OSTI Primary Activities


Web Products for Science Dissemination


?         Making DOE R&D Results Searchable

DOE Information Bridge - 200,000 DOE R&D reports with searchable full-text and bibliographic citations.

Energy Citations Database - 2.3 million bibliographic citations of DOE documents from 1942 to the present, with links to electronic full text when available.

DOE R&D Accomplishments - Outcomes of past DOE R&D which have had significant economic impact, improved people's lives, or been widely recognized as a remarkable advance in science.

DOE Patents - Collection of 24,000 DOE patent records. - Single query access to multiple OSTI databases of DOE R&D projects and programs, ongoing and completed work, major R&D accomplishments, and recent research of interest to DOE.


?         Collaborations to Increase Visibility of and Access to DOE R&D - Gateway to 36 federal agency scientific databases, 1,850+ scientific websites, and 200 million pages of U.S. government science information. - Global searching of national science databases of 56 countries, covering 350 million pages and nearly 80 percent of the world's population.

E-Print Network - Gateway to 30,000 e-print Web sites and 50 databases containing 5 million e-print documents, and links to more than 3,000 scientific societies.

Federal R&D Project Summaries - 800,000 R&D project summaries in databases at DOE and 5 other leading science agencies - NIH, NSF, EPA, SBA and USDA.            


?         DOE-only Information Support Activities

Searchable FWP - web-based tool for submitting and searching SC Field Work Proposals.

SC E-Journals - centralized, desk-top access to >1,500 journals of interest to SC.

Classified Weapons Research Information systems - electronic access to current and historic DOE classified R&D records; OSTI recently approved by NNSA as node on Enterprise Secure Network.


Partnerships and Information Community Infrastructure


?         DOE - HQ and Field-based Scientific and Technical Information Program, operating under DOE O 241.1A, to enable publicly-accessible collections of DOE R&D information, as required by DOE enabling legislation and EPAct of 2005.

?         Interagency - Activities fulfill DOE statutory requirements (GPO, NARA, NTIS); provide governance structure for; and promote best business practices in e-government (CENDI).

?         International representation/agreements

ETDE (Energy Technology Data Exchange) - IEA agreement, established in 1987, operated by OSTI, with roughly 2 million foreign R&D records.

INIS (International Nuclear Information System) - IAEA agreement, established in 1969, where OSTI obtains foreign nuclear energy research information. Alliance - Governance structure for, operated by OSTI.


Unclassified/Classified Repository of DOE Research Information - 1.2 million technical reports representing DOE and predecessor agency R&D outputs since 1942.


Communications/Outreach - Increase public and stakeholder awareness and support of SC mission and outputs.

?         Awards - Manage communications and special events to promote Fermi, Lawrence, and PECASE awards.

?         AAAS - Promote SC activities at annual meeting and through AAAS communications, such as EurekAlert.

?         Science Bowl Support - Execute publicity programs to encourage STEM interest and careers.


Cost-Reimbursable Program - Specialized information products and services provided by OSTI to DOE Program Offices, other federal agencies, and international organizations on cost recovery basis (~$5M annually).


Infrastructure (Physical, Technology, Administrative) - Facility management for 133,000 square foot building (maintenance, security, ES&H); technology infrastructure and cyber security for classified and unclassified networks performing 80+ million annual patron transactions; administrative/budget functions (accounting, procurement, personnel).



Walt  Warnick, Director 


Page last updated on 2016-04-25 06:05

About the Author

Dr. Walt Warnick's picture
Walt Warnick
Former Director, U.S. DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information